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Crowdsourcing

Yesterday in my massage therapist's office, I was reading an old issue of Wired while I wait and run into this article which I found very interesting. The concept of crowdsourcing... this is the first time I heard about this term, but the reality of it has already been happening around me.

The classical example is in the realm of stock photography. About 2 years ago, our design firm got an outsourced (!) job of designing a web site for a telecommunication company. We need a lot of stock photo but could not afford to buy any because stock photo at that time cost a few hundred dollars a set. So we have to used the limited collection our client already owned and photoshoped them to make them look different.

But now, we can easily get free stock photo on the web (such as the one above). And the quality is almost comparable to those costing you a fortune. There are also a lot of $1 stock photo with even higher quality. What happened in just 2 years? Well, crowd sourcing. The communication technology now enable people from different places, even amateurs to participate in projects where only recognized professionals can involve in. While professionals charge you a big sum of money, many amateurs are willing to do the same job for free, only for the sense of achievement and fun in the process. And most importantly, some amateurs produce work that is as good as professionals.

And even if the quality of one amateur is below standard, it doesn't matter. Because there is a crowd of amateurs out there who is willing to help. With the help of advanced communication technology, a large number of people can collaborate in the same project, each covering each other's ground to produce a work of quality. The process also enable the learning of the whole crowd, thus improving the overall quality of the crowd.

The economy is really changing.

My question is, how does the concept of crowdsourcing apply to church projects (or in the context of parachurch like AFC? How can we mobilize more people to participate in projects to facilitate learning while lowing the cost of R&D or production? Uncle Benny, if you are reading this, pleae help me.

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Ironically, i was at istockphoto purchasing a graphic on Sunday.

I wonder if churches could use the crowdsourcing concept for ministries that are lacking resources (i.e. english youth ministry). People in that particular ministry can meet together and share their stories, so we can learn & help each other. However, it requires lots of collaboration and communication among churches in an area.

Has churches in the Lower Mainland worked together before? Correct me if i'm wrong but the collobration is missing all these years...but ironically aren't we all working towards in bringing more people to Christ?

If Uncle Benny doesn't read your blog, you should ask him in person next time. I'm dying to know the answer as well

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